NATURE WITH CHILDREN
By Stephanie Wagner
Friends of Tryon Creek
Here are several tips for
exploring nature with your students:
- Have an outdoor adventure
at least once a week. Involve all the senses. Be sure to dress for
the weather. Do not try to do too much. A short fun experience can
mean much more than a full day.
- Keep a Nature Journal
- What we did
- What we saw
- What we smelled
- What we touched
- What we heard
- Instruct students to
tell a story about the place they visited. They can write it down
if they want to. Have students try writing a poem to add to their
- Have students make a nature
tapestry. Add something to it from each place you visit.
- Help students make collections
of things that interest them. Just about anything will make an interesting
collection (feathers, seeds, rocks, leaves, insects, flowers, etc.)
- Make items that can enhance
discovery, including cardboard binoculars, a touching bag, or a footprint
- Carry a discovery pack
with you. Include a magnifying glass, pieces of black and white paper
or cloth, and a collecting box or jar.
- Investigate little things
with your students. A slug or a worm can be every bit as interesting
as a larger mammal.
- Remember that plants are
special, too. Where would we be without photosynthesis!
- Encourage outdoor play—build
forts, dig holes, discover hidden places.
- Visit the library. Use
books you find to reinforce or learn something new about our outdoor
- Visit a nature center
with your students and have students ask questions, take a guided
walk or take a class.